What is online child sexual exploitation?

Online child sexual exploitation is the use of technology or the internet to sexually exploit a child, or create or share child sexual abuse material.


See Online Grooming(external link) for more information about grooming and how to safeguard your children.

Talking to your child about sexual exploitation

'The Wolf and the Hocus Pocus', is a children's book written by New Zealand author Avril McDonald and is designed to encourage children to speak out and find help if they experience any form of abuse.


The book is aimed at 4-7 year olds and aims to break the culture of silence that traditionally surrounds sexual and other forms of abuse in New Zealand and encourage children to seek out a trusted adult until they find one who believes them and will act on their behalf to help keep them safe and secure. The book is also available as a digital app where children can interact with the story and characters. 

What is child sexual abuse material?

Child sexual abuse material is also called child sexual exploitation material. It refers to the recording of the sexual abuse or exploitation of a child or young person. This can include images, videos, or live-streamed content that depict real children or young persons.

What should I do if I find content that I believe is illegal?

The Department of Internal Affairs investigates and prosecutes people who deliberately collect child sexual abuse material. If you come across content that you believe is illegal, leave the site immediately and report it the Digital Child Exploitation Team on their website(external link)(external link).

Help for harmful sexual behaviours

Help for victims and families affected by child sexual exploitation

We understand that child sexual exploitation is very difficult for you and your whānau. The below organisations can make sure that you get the support you need to help you through:

Help for harmful sexual behaviours

If you are concerned about your own activity or someone else’s sexual behaviour, talking to a professional can help:

  • Stand Strong, Walk Tall (external link)is a programme that provides free specialist therapeutic services for adults in New Zealand who experience sexual attraction to children or young people under 16.
  • Safe to talk (external link)is a sexual harm helpline that provides confidential help and support 24/7. You can talk to trained specialists for free on 0800 044 334 or by free texting 4334.
  • Safe Network (external link)provides specialist services for concerning and harmful sexual behaviour towards or involving children and minors throughout the upper North Island. For all enquiries phone 09 377 9898 or email help@safenetwork.org.nz.
  • WellStop (external link)is a community-based organisation that aims to eliminate harmful sexual behaviour in communities across the lower North Island. For help and support call 04 566 4745 or visit their website.
  • STOP (external link)provides community-based assessment and intervention services for adolescents and adults in the South Island who have engaged in harmful sexual behaviour and for children with concerning sexual behaviours. You can contact them on 03 353 0257 or by emailing info@stop.org.nz.

Support for families affected by a child sexual exploitation investigation

The Department of Internal Affairs, NZ Police and NZ Customs Service have developed an information pack for non-offending partners and family members that are impacted by a child sexual exploitation investigation. The pack includes information on what the court process will look like as well as support services you can reach out to for help during this difficult time. For more information visit the Department of Internal Affairs website(external link).